In addition, ThromboGenics will receive royalties on net sales of ocriplasmin that are commensurate with a product that has successfully completed Phase III development and that has been filed for regulatory approval.
Under the agreement ThromboGenics will have a strategic and focused operational role in the commercialization of ocriplasmin in the five largest European markets, enabling it to build the foundation for an expanding ophthalmology franchise.
In addition to the commercial introduction of ocriplasmin in markets outside the U.S., the agreement specifies that Alcon and ThromboGenics will work together, and share the costs, to further develop new clinical applications of the product that the companies will introduce in their respective territories.
ThromboGenics has completed an extensive clinical development program, including two successful Phase III studies that have shown that ocriplasmin could play an important role in treating symptomatic VMA including macular hole. Symptomatic VMA is an increasingly recognized sight-threatening disease of the vitreoretinal interface. VMA may lead to symptoms such as distorted vision, decreased visual acuity and central visual field defects. VMA can cause traction resulting in anatomical damage including formation of a macular hole, which may lead to severe visual consequences and central blindness.
Members of the international retina community have already shown great interest in ocriplasmin, as it could for the first time provide them with a pharmacological option to treat patients with symptomatic VMA including macular hole. The availability of ocriplasmin may also enable retina specialists to treat patients earlier than they do with surgery. This could address a significant unmet need as earlier intervention has been shown to limit the progress of the disease and its related complications.
ThromboGenics is confident that ocriplasmin has significant commercial potential, given estimates that more than 300,000 patients in
alone could potentially benefit from this novel treatment.
Dr Patrik De Haes, CEO of ThromboGenics, commented,
"Today's collaborative deal with Alcon, the global leader in eye care, to commercialize ocriplasmin outside of the United Statesis a major milestone for ThromboGenics. We are pleased that Alcon has recognized the potential of ocriplasmin to change the way symptomatic VMA including macular hole is treated. Alcon is the ideal partner for an innovative retinal therapy given its global sales, marketing and medical capabilities in the ophthalmic market and its commitment to making ocriplasmin a success. We are now concentrating on bringing ocriplasmin to the U.S. market ourselves and are building the commercial and medical organization needed to support the product's anticipated launch. I have no doubt that today's deal will generate significant value for ThromboGenics' shareholders, and I am looking forward to working with Alcon to ensure that ocriplasminc an reach the thousands of patients globally who could benefit from this innovative pharmacological treatment."
Kevin Buehler, Division Head of
"There are thousands of symptomatic vitreomacular adhesion patients who currently do not have an available treatment option. The clinical results
for ocriplasmin show improved visual function and that earlier intervention may limit the progression of the disease," said
, Division Head for Alcon. "Ocriplasmin is a strategic fit for Alcon and is expected to further enhance our portfolio of innovative treatments for the eye."